Former NAMIC CEO Chuck Chamness Speaks on His New Role at Bain Capital Insurance

Stewart Foley:
Every now and then we get a big hitter through our doors. And this week is a great guest. Chuck Chamness, recently retired CEO of NAMIC, and a now Senior Advisor at Bain Capital Insurance.1 Chuck, welcome.

Chuck Chamness: Thanks, Stewart. It’s great to be here.

Stewart Foley: We’re also joined by Matt Popoli, Managing Director and Global Head of Bain Capital Insurance. Matt, welcome.

Matt Popoli: Thanks, Stewart. Glad to be here.

Stewart Foley: Chuck, let’s start with you. You’re one of the most visible guys in the insurance industry as CEO of NAMIC. For those people who may not know, what’s NAMIC? What is it, and what does NAMIC do?

Chuck Chamness:  I am now former CEO of NAMIC. I spent a long time in that seat, from 2003 to last July when I was succeeded by Neil Aldridge, who is doing an excellent job now as NAMIC’s new CEO, the sixth CEO. So, NAMIC, I think it’s interesting, like our member companies, NAMIC, the association, is rather long lived. It started in 1895, when a group of mutual insurance companies decided that they needed to have a national association. And of course, it has served the mutual insurance industry ever since. Over 40% of the total property casualty insurance industry market is covered by NAMIC members. Its members range from giant national, in some cases, global, writers, household names, to regional mutuals, one state writers, to tiny little farm mutuals that do business in rural America. It’s really quite a diverse group.

We love, and I’m sure I’ll lapse into the NAMIC “we” several times in this discussion, I can’t help it. I’m trying to break myself of it. But I still consider myself part of the mutual insurance industry, which I served for 26 years. So, we have a long-term focus, like the mutual insurance companies themselves, owned by their policy holder members, run for the benefit of the policy holders. And NAMIC’s specific role though, is to represent them in the regulatory, public policy, government affairs space. And we know, as a heavily regulated industry, which property casualty insurance clearly is, it’s very important that we get that part right. That creates the environment in which our member companies, NAMIC member companies, can serve their policy holder members.

So, first, it’s government affairs, NAMIC has a 12-person Capitol Hill office that does federal affairs. NAMIC has a PAC that’s about $1.3M and puts it in the top 2% in terms of PAC size in the US – this is very valuable in getting to know federal elected leaders.2 Obviously, there are regional government affairs representatives who cover states. Every state has a NAMIC representative assigned to it for regulatory and state government affairs. And then we do all the other things that an association does including certification programs, conventions, various training. I think there’s 11 or 12 in-person meetings. Post-COVID, these things are all evolving, but it still has a great culture of getting together with our members. Our members, I think, reflect a distinct characteristic of the mutual insurance industry, they’re willing to help each other. Right now, NAMIC is having its CEO Round Table, an important meeting where the CEOs all gather, and by peer group, they set the agenda and they lead discussions about issues around the industry.

So, the other thing NAMIC does, is it has its own insurance company. This goes back to 1987 in the hard market for professional liability. Our members couldn’t get Director & Officer liability and what we call ICPL, insurance company professional liability. So, NAMIC started a company to serve that need. It’s ironically a stock company. I was chair of the NAMICO Board for the 18 years that I was CEO of NAMIC. In my last six months with NAMIC, I was interim CEO of NAMICO, our insurance company, because we needed to find a new lead there. I led the search, and we hired our vice president of claims, a really excellent professional liability leader in Jen Hamilton. So NAMICO’s policies are sold exclusively through NAMIC’s insurance agency, which is an important source of non-dues revenue through the association. The Association’s revenue is about $22 million total. And again, it comes from dues, it comes from profitable business operations. It’s a very healthy and financially sound entity capable of serving NAMIC’s members’ needs.

Stewart Foley: It is very interesting, and you mentioned this, when I teach insurance to students, there’s kind of two major insurance structures, mutual insurance companies that are owned by policyholders and stock companies that are owned by stockholders. And they’re very different, right? Mutual companies tend to have, as you mentioned, a longer time horizon oftentimes than stock companies do.

Chuck Chamness: Yes.

Stewart Foley: So, all right, Chuck, so I’m on your LinkedIn prepping for this thing. And I look at the background and I can’t get past NAMIC. And then it says, “see all entries” and I hit that button and it goes to some big laundry list and I still can’t get back past NAMIC. So, where did you start your career? Give me the background. What happened to Chuck pre-NAMIC?

Chuck Chamness: Well, I spent 10 years in Washington, DC. As I mentioned, the role NAMIC has in government affairs and representing the mutual insurance industry in public policy, I learned that in my time in DC. I worked in the first Bush administration. I was head of public affairs under Jack Kemp, who was a great conservative leader and HUD secretary.3 I worked on Capitol Hill as a press secretary for a member of Congress who was a banking committee member. I actually met my wife through the House Banking Committee and now called House Financial Services Committee. We were both there, she worked for a law firm at the time. We were covering a conference committee of a banking law back in 1987. I met Bridget there, and she later went to work on the Hill. She became general counsel of the House Banking Committee and worked on the Hill for about seven years.

I worked in other places around the Hill and the banking industry and financial services. But anyway, and we’re a mixed marriage. I’m a Republican, and she is a Democrat. And she still is. And she worked for Chairman Gonzalez who was, at the time, Chair of the Committee. So that was kind of where I learned it. We looked and our careers were evolving, and we thought, it was time to probably make a change. We had our first house on Capitol Hill. Our first two kids had been born, and we thought maybe we just change up the career a little bit. We ended up in Indianapolis. I’m from Indiana originally. And did some networking ended up with job offers. She became chief council of Department of Insurance. Evan Bayh was Governor back then. And I became vice president of public affairs at NAMIC. So that was my, really, both of our first starts in insurance. She didn’t stay in insurance long. I ended up being a lifer with 26 years at NAMIC and 18 as CEO.

Stewart Foley: That’s a great story. I don’t know, man. That’s good background there. So, let me ask you this. A friend and client, Colin Dowdall at Loomis. When we were on the phone the other day, he said the life insurance industry has changed more in the last 18 months than it has in the last 50 years. Do you agree with that? How does that statement strike you, given your perspective over your career in the insurance business?

Chuck Chamness: I think it strikes me as pretty close to accurate. Putting a time period on it is hard, and I was actually scheduled to retire a year earlier. I had planned on that, but my Board asked me to stay. The NAMIC Board asked me to stay an extra year, because of course, COVID happened, and all of our member companies were working remotely, nearly all of them. And their reliance on technology, which would be the big headline here, changed overnight effectively with that remote work, with determining different ways to underwrite business, to adjust claims, often relying on new technology or at least technology they hadn’t used extensively before. So, I think it was turbocharged, the industry’s use of technology. And of course, these are businesses. They’re companies run by managers who now have a different work environment to lead in. And so, I think that’s been a major change as well.

We dealt at NAMIC, with some pretty challenging public policy issues. You might remember that in the early days of the pandemic, there were legislative attempts to retroactively put in place business interruption insurance to cover the pandemic risk, which wasn’t ever in the policies, most had exclusions for it. Even those that didn’t, it clearly wasn’t designed to cover business interruption caused by a pandemic. And those are legal cases that continue. The industry’s winning them as we expected. But that also presented at least a challenge, if not a change to the industry that’s been driven in the last two years of COVID.

Stewart Foley: I think that a lot of times the insurance industry, and I’ve been a big advocate for many years, and it’s been a great career for me. And I love the insurance industry. I think the insurance industry gets a bad rap for things like this, that somebody goes well, yeah, they should pay for it. And it’s like, well, that wasn’t the intent of the policy. You can’t just expect insurance companies to just pick up the bill when something goes wrong that’s not… I just think that insurance companies sometimes get that bad rap. I think health insurance gets that bad rap. And I just think it’s unfounded. You’ve got a responsibility to your policy holders and your shareholders to pay every valid claim in a timely basis, but you can’t pay claims that you’re not responsible for.

Chuck Chamness: Absolutely. We literally didn’t receive any premium for that risk. It’s not part of the policy. It’s been determined over years, most of the exclusions go back to, it was either SARS or MERS or some of the other earlier pandemics, where industry, companies/underwriters just focused on the potential risk of having everyone stop business at the same time. And knowing that it couldn’t be covered by even the capacity of the insurance industry, so it’s not. But the headlines are not what we wish they would be when these stories are written. And, of course, we have the plaintiffs’ bar and others who are very active, helping write the other side of that story and have their own motivation. So, it’s a struggle, but I think this is resolving itself as it should, and we’ll be in good shape once the court cases are all completed.

Stewart Foley: So, you’ve been retired as the NAMIC CEO for a while now, and as it happens with well-regarded successful leaders, you’ve found your way to a second career or another step here. You’re a Senior Advisor at Bain Capital Insurance. How did you come to know Bain? And how did that come together?

Chuck Chamness: Well, it started in that I knew Matt. Matt has worked around our industry some time, and Matt is obviously with us, so he can speak to the origin story, but Bain set up this insurance business unit just over a year ago, brought Matt in to run it. And so, it was after that we started discussing whether there might be a bit for me here. From my perspective, I know enough about our industry and its needs, particularly on the capital side, to know what an important difference the focus of a firm like Bain could make working in the insurance industry. And with Matt and the capable team he set up, their great reputation, creativity, insurance knowledge just seemed like a great opportunity. So that was kind of how I came to it.

Stewart Foley: And Matt, I want to bring you the conversation. I’ll say it like this, the old saying goes, “You’ve seen one insurance company, you’ve seen one insurance company,” right?

Matt Popoli: Absolutely.

Stewart Foley: But one thing that’s mutual, and this is, believe me, I am practicing without a license right now, so just hang onto your hats. Here we go. So, mutual insurance companies don’t have a good way of raising capital. It’s mainly through retained earnings. That’s where you’re going to get capital. A stock company can go out and issue stock and raise capital. How does Bain and Bain Capital Insurance, how do you address that need for capital in the mutual insurance space?

Matt Popoli: It’s a great question, Stewart. It’s true. If you look at how mutual insurance companies are structured versus stock companies, when a stock company needs to raise equity, they go to their shareholders and say they’re going to issue another a hundred dollars of stock, and they issue the hundred dollars of stock. And they either bring in new shareholders or existing shareholders put up more capital and they have the hundred dollars and off they go. As you point out, with mutual insurance companies, it’s more difficult. Mutual insurance companies have the ability to use reinsurance as capital. So many of them are big users of reinsurance. And really, if you think about what reinsurance is, reinsurance is just a different form of capital. And so, some of the largest reinsurers are big reinsurers of the mutual industry and are great partners of the mutual industry.

Mutual companies can also issue a form of debt that’s called surplus notes. Surplus notes are a kind of a hybrid equity debt instrument, but those are typically capped at a percentage of surplus in the range of 20% or 25%. But what they can’t do is go to their policy holders and ask for equity because the companies are just not structured to do so. So, there’s a couple things that mutuals can do. They can set up what is called a mutual holding company, which effectively establishes a downstream stock entity. The top company is still a mutual owned by the policy holders, but they set up a downstream stock company, and they can then issue equity at that entity, at the mutual holding company entity, and then they can also actually do what’s called a demutualization, which is converting from a mutual form to a stock form. And that’s something that happened many, many times back in the early 2000’s with names like John Hancock and MetLife and Prudential. Those are really the ways that insurance company mutuals can raise capital.

Stewart Foley: What’s the trend on surplus notes in terms of issuance volume? Surplus notes have been around, and back even, like when I started in the business back when the Earth was cooling, how are you seeing that?

Chuck Chamness: Well, let me lead off, because I’ll give you a little background on it, because NAMIC had a role in this, and I’ll also differentiate large companies from regional and smaller. I would hear, as NAMIC CEO, routinely from member companies who had plans to enter a new line of business, enter new territory, needed more flexibility driven by more surplus that a surplus note was the best way to do that. We had a securitized program that was really very efficient, very cost effective, very flexible, and it was pre-financial crisis. And we, and I mean, NAMIC, working in concert with the firms that did this, ran hundreds of millions of dollars in surplus notes, which really helped NAMIC member companies. In the financial crisis that source dried up effectively. And ever since, and now I’m not talking like there’s probably $50 billion in surplus notes out there today, but most of them are from very large mutuals who issue them directly – for the regional companies say, $500 million premium, $800 million premium, to the one state riders, like a farm bureau, or smaller companies. There’s really not been a market for 10 years. So going back to your question about Bain and its interest in this area and its capabilities in this area, which are significant, it’s a very positive development that Bain is getting into this. And I think for mutual insurance companies of that size, smaller than national writers, it’ll be a great tool for them.

Stewart Foley: Yeah, I think your point about access to capital and size of company is the same as access to various asset classes and large versus small. It’s hard for some of the mid to smaller companies to get efficient access to some of those asset classes as well. So Matt, did you want to talk about trend line on issuance? Has it been relatively quiet and now that market, you see that opening up a little bit?

Matt Popoli: Over the last couple of years there have been over $13 billion of surplus notes issued, which sounds like a really large number.4 In the context of the overall statutory surplus of the US life and annuity industry, US PNC & life annuity industry, it’s quite small. And then as Chuck indicated, the vast mass majority of that $13 plus billion went to the big, big companies. Nationwide was a big issuer. TIAA was a big issuer. So, if you actually look at the amount of surplus notes issued by companies that have less than a billion dollars in surplus, or less than $500 million in surplus, it’s actually quite low. And again, as Chuck said, those are the companies that are struggling to raise capital.

And if you think about the capital levels, and this is a generalization, but typically the larger companies are more well capitalized. And so, the companies that are more well capitalized have easier access to additional capital. The smaller companies that are less well capitalized have less access to capital, and so you kind of can see kind of what’s happening here in terms of the split between the large companies that are well capitalized and have access to capital and the smaller companies that may need more capital are having a hard time accessing that capital.

Stewart Foley: Chuck, I know you know these stats like the back of your hand, but there are, I think, 330 companies above a billion in invested assets and a total of like 1900, companies-ish. There’s a lot, a lot of companies that are not very big. When I was at NEIMA, I had two clients that were $50 million apiece in total invested assets.5 And they had both been around for years. One was a hundred years old. It’s not like these companies just showed up. But just like outsourcing investment management, where you’re trying to take advantage of the asset manager’s scale and expertise to get a better outcome from an asset class, maybe you don’t have the internal experience. Maybe you don’t have a big enough allocation to justify having the internal experience. I view this in the same way with Bain as you’ve got the background, and you can shepherd someone through the process of issuing a surplus note in an efficient manner. Is that a fair kind of look at things?

Chuck Chamness: I think it is. I think the difference with Bain will be, it’s basically a one-stop shop. Bain, Matt and his team have all the capabilities. They certainly have the capital, have the interest and the ability to shepherd it through the regulatory and ratings process that are all necessary. And often, other circumstances would include multiple parties to take care of that. So, I think it’s very promising, and you’re right, when you just look at the industry’s profile, it is a very broad and decentralized industry. Your comments about those companies you worked with at NEIMA, I’m sure they were both mutuals.

Stewart Foley: A hundred percent.

Chuck Chamness: They had the characteristics of being smaller and being a hundred years old. 60 or 70% of NAMIC member companies are over a hundred years old. So, I think it’s a perfect formula for success in this area and really filling an unmet need that at least for the last 12 years hasn’t been addressed for these companies.

Now, we know that the rate environment is changing. There’s a lot of different moving pieces that we’ll address, but it’s still, for companies that are well managed, that are capital constrained for whatever reason or have plans to grow, are rated well and have good management and a plan for growth, they really haven’t had the access to surplus notes that I think they’ll have soon when we roll this out.

Stewart Foley: I’m almost afraid to ask this question. So, hang on. What about M&A in the mutual space? My experience in the mutual space is that there are companies that have been around a really long time, and they serve an important need in their community, in particular, very regional. One of my clients, I’ll just tell you that their website read, “no matter where you live” and it named four places in Virginia that I have never heard of, but that’s their market and they know it cold. Do you see M&A in the same way that you have sales of life blocks? Are you seeing that kind of activity?

Chuck Chamness: Well, there are certain characteristics of mutuals that make M&A hard because they’re owned by their policy holders and that ownership has some different definitions, but effectively, they are and so, you can’t buy one. And that’s part of the reason, and Matt mentioned mutual holding company. That structure has been embraced in the last few years. And in large part, because if you’re a mutual that’s interested in affiliations to grow your business, then you’ll need a mutual holding company structure to affiliate them into a broader group. You still have the mutual rights from the policy holders, it’s just they’ve been transferred to the holding company structure while the mutual insurance company underwriter has been demutualized. So, in that way, you can structure a company with a mutual holding company at the top, and then multiple affiliates who would be those affiliated mutuals below it. It’s a much more efficient way to operate.

The traditional mutual affiliation pattern has been to basically combine company management, do reinsurance pooling, usually have boards that are the same board for different entities, legally different entities. They publish different annual reports. They represent different policyholders, but they have different names. So that can create some inefficiencies that are solved by the mutual holding company structure. And again, with the Bain team that Matt’s assembled, I think there’s a great opportunity to assist companies in these kinds of transactions as well.

Stewart Foley: And just talking, just flip the script a little bit on the investment side, which is way more my bailiwick here; big, big allocations and big trend to private assets. Anything private. Why? For investment income, the end. The insurance industry has a very well-established reputation of being slow. And the regulatory environment is tough because the capital charges are the lowest for the lowest yielding instruments. You’re seeing a shift of folks who are trying to figure out a way to generate enough investment income and that’s created this stampede or this trend toward private assets. Matt, how do you feel about valuations in private asset classes right now broadly? Is it frothy? Do you think that the private market has enough capacity to handle these capital flows?

Matt Popoli: What you said is exactly right. If you look at the shift over the last number of years, there’s been a shift away from plain vanilla investment grade corporates into private credit, into real estate debt, into private equity, into real estate private equity. And that trend, it’s happening, and it’ll continue. As you said, the capital treatment on those assets, depending on the structure can be punitive in cases. And so, carriers are limited to how much of their portfolio they can invest in those asset classes. But as you pointed out, if you look at the trend in rates up until really the last few months here, both in terms of treasuries and then terms of spreads, it’s been a long march down in terms of rates. And if you look at carriers that have longer duration business, whether it’s comp or whether it’s on the life annuity side, they have some very long-lived liabilities.

And those liabilities were put on the books many, many years ago in instances and the rates were a lot higher than they are today. And so, figuring out how to mitigate that liability and to feed that liability in our profit is critical and something that carriers obviously spend a tremendous amount of time on. And again, our observation is the trend into private equity, the trend into private credit will continue. And obviously the NEIC’s rules are evolving in those fronts and they’re continuing to make sure that I think there’s appropriate capital charges against those assets.6 But again, our sense is that trend will continue. And it’s really, if you look today, a lot of things are overvalued today. We see a lot of attractive relative value in private equity and in private credit.

Stewart Foley: Yeah. I think in fairness to the regulators, what’s the regulators ultimate job? Well, it’s to make sure that when you have a claim, the insurance company can pay it. The end. They’re not worried about profitability or the insurance company. They’re worried about the insurance company being able to pay the policyholder. And that’s right. So, what was the biggest risk? Well, the biggest risk was default or loss of the money that you’ve invested in. So, the capital charge regime is around credit quality. And now we just have this other risk, and the main risk facing these companies is that they can’t earn enough on their invested assets, given the regulatory regime that favors high rated public assets that have a very low interest rate. And I think the regulators are making strides at changing up some of the capital charge regime, but it’s complicated. These regulations are at the state level. There’s a lot involved in changing this stuff. And I don’t see this trend going away. Do you see anything that changes this, what I refer to as a mega trend?

Matt Popoli: It’s a mega trend, and again, it’s been happening for the last few years, and it feels like it’ll continue happening. Rates obviously have picked up recently. And who knows if that continues or not. Many signs, obviously, point to that continuing, but even as that happens, it feels like the momentum around private credit, the momentum around private equity within the insurance company general account will continue.

Stewart Foley: Yeah. And I think I got on my soapbox in my editor’s letter in our first quarter edition. I got out equations in this thing. And my point of this whole thing is real interest rates are negative right now. And that is a killer for insurance companies that are facing the full force of inflation on the claims side. And they’re facing a negative real rate on the investment side. It’s challenging out there. Do you see that that way, or what’s your view kind of look in 2022, 2023?

Matt Popoli: It continues to be a challenge environment, for sure, for investment returns within a regulated insurance company balance sheet. It seems hard to see that trend slowing again. I think the trend has begun and obviously started with some of the larger companies, some of the more sophisticated companies, but we’re now seeing that trend of more private equity, more private credit kind of trickle into the small or midsize companies into some of the smaller mutuals. We’ve had, again, many discussions with mutuals about that. And again, I think they are starting to also see the benefits of diversifying the investment portfolio into these sorts of asset classes that offer a higher return opportunity.

And while obviously any insurance company has to be mindful of liquidity, has to be able to, back to your point of ensuring they have the cash to pay claims, which is what the regulators really care about. Many insurance companies have a relatively long duration, somewhat illiquid liabilities. So, they actually have the ability to have illiquid assets to match their illiquid liability.

Stewart Foley: Absolutely.

Matt Popoli: It’s not as if you have a bank balance sheet where it’s possible that on one day, you have a proverbial run on the bank and people come in and withdraw. It’s very difficult for insurance companies to have that same kind of run on the bank. And we did a bunch of analysis on the stability of the insurance companies and insurance company liabilities. And back during the financial crisis, there was something like 380 bank failures from 2008 to 2013.7 And on the insurance company side, there were 6.8 And so, 381 and 6, I think the 6 really speaks to the resiliency of the insurance company balance sheet and the insurance company liability structure, and I think the very thoughtful kind of state-by-state regulation and so on.

Stewart Foley: And I’ll just flat out say it, insurance companies are smart money and people think they aren’t. They think they’re dumb because they’ve got these big public bond portfolios. It’s not that they’re dumb money. They’re smart money. There’s no doubt about it. We’re kind of on the tail end of our podcast here and this is the completely unannounced, ask me anything portion of the program. Chuck, I’ll start with you. You, I know, well, I shouldn’t say I know, I believe that you are a big advocate of the insurance industry as a career choice. Using that as a premise, if you were graduating from college today, where would you look? What type of business, what would you be looking for as a good career path or an area of growth in the insurance industry?

Chuck Chamness:
Well, that’s a great question. I have four 20-something kids, and one is in the insurance industry, a private credit analyst with a large company. But the great news about the insurance industry is almost any skillset can be utilized successfully with a good long career in the industry. If you’re a financial type, there are a ton of roles in that area, dealing with the kinds of things you talk about in your podcast and your listeners do every day. If you are an underwriter or you’re analytical, if you’re a claims person who likes to deal with people and help solve problems, deal with the system, the judicial system, where some things are resolved, a lot of opportunities there. Clearly technology, we kind of began with technology and might as well conclude with it. It’s more and more a technology business.

I was having lunch with a friend of mine, an actuary who’s doing a study about actuaries in the C-suite a couple weeks ago. And I’m like, it is a major trend because as the industry becomes more analytical and driven by data, actuaries are more and more valuable. And they’re CEOs now. There are plenty of member company NAMIC member mutual insurance company CEOs who are actuaries because it’s such a valuable skillset. So clearly, that would be a category as well. You have HR, you have lawyers, lawyers everywhere. So, I think the adaptability and stability, let’s just end with that, for the kids, like our kids in their twenties, who’ve seen the financial crisis, as Matt mentioned, have now seen a global pandemic. If they value stability in an employer that isn’t subject to a run on the bank as one characteristic, or is going to be there for the next hundred years as it’s been there for the last hundred years. It’s a great industry for that too.

The distribution side, I haven’t even mentioned, of course, I focus more on the companies, but that is changing wildly. And Bain has been involved with that as well because the independent agent model is evolving and there’s always great sales jobs, marketing jobs, customer contact jobs on the distribution side. So, I think that’s the secret that the industry is really trying to get out now and to solve for, as it faces a talent gap with a lot of retirements coming up. And that is to spread the good word about how many great, flexible, long-term, stable, rewarding careers there are. That’s my take on it.

Matt Popoli: To add to that, if you look at how coverages are evolving, cyber is a $6 or $7 billion premium industry today.9 By the end of this decade, it’s expected to be $40 billion in premium.10 If, you just think of that, I mean, $40 billion is a big, significant line of business. And if you look at the underwriters involved, the claims, the handlers and all the different people that touch cyber, that industry is going to need a lot of new folks to be part of it. And again, as young people are thinking about growth, it’s an area where they’re going to have more technical expertise than people from our generation and again, I think it’s a really interesting part of the insurance world. And then I think as Chuck touched on, distribution, the average insurance agent, is aging. If, you look at the average age, they’re getting up there, and many of those agents, of which there are tens of thousands in the US, are looking to retire. And so again, insurance distribution is a great way to make a living, a really interesting business. As young folks come into the industry, looking to be part of insurance distribution, I think, is really a great path.

Stewart Foley: And I may get myself in trouble here, Chuck. But my experience is that mutual insurance companies treat their employees really well. My former client, Secure Insurance in Appleton, Wisconsin, I’ll just throw them out there. They had a family picnic for their employees. It was the nicest thing. And every time you go there, warm chocolate chip cookies on the reception counter. I mean, come on. How are you going to get better than that? That’s amazing. But Matt, don’t feel bad. I don’t want you to feel left out because you got your own question. You ready? It is your graduation day of college. You walk across the stage, get your diploma, quick photo op with the president, down the stairs you go. At the bottom of the stairs, you run into yourself today. What do you tell your 21-year-old self?

Matt Popoli: That’s a good one. I’ll first say that as I walked across the stage, I was wearing shorts under my robe and the president handed me the diploma and also said, “nice shorts.” And then as I walked down, I walked down to my wife and our daughter who we actually had in college. And I think a lot of people thought I was probably crazy for being 21 or 22 and being married in college. And I guess what I would tell myself 25 years later is, don’t change anything. That was the best decision you ever made.

Stewart Foley: That is awesome. That’s one of the best answers I’ve ever gotten from this. That’s really nice. Chuck Chamness, senior advisor, Bain Capital Insurance. Chuck, thanks for being on.

Chuck Chamness: Thank you, Stewart.

Stewart Foley: Matt Popoli, Managing Director, Global Head of Bain Capital Insurance. Matt, thanks for taking the time today.

Matt Popoli: Thanks, Stewart. Appreciate you having us.

Stewart Foley: Absolutely. Our pleasure. If you have ideas for podcast, please email us at My name is Stewart Foley, and this is the Insurance AUM Journal Podcast.

1 NAMIC = National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.
2 PAC = Political Action Committee.
3 HUD = Housing & Urban Development.
4 Source: SNL Financial, Company Statutory Filings. Representative of issuance in 2019 and 2020, and excludes all transactions with par values below $5M or interest rates below 2.0%.
5 NEAM = New England Asset Management.
6 NAIC = National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
7 Source: FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile as of September 8, 2021. Representative of failed banks as classified by the FDIC with total assets above $100M.
8 Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence as of January 25, 2021. Representative of insurance companies in liquidation with total assets above $100M
9 Source: Fortune Business Insights as of January 2022.
10 Source: Bain Capital Insurance analysis, predicated on Fortune Business Insights as of January 2022, which projects the global cyber insurance market to grow at a CAGR of 25.3% starting in 2021.

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